Thursday, September 19th, 2013 Imagery and Figurative Language

Read  paragraphs A and B.  Determine which of the two contains more descriptive writing. Look at how the author uses language to build images.


“All through October the days were still warm, like summer, but at night the mercury dropped and in the morning the sagebrush was sometimes covered with frost. Twice in one week there were dust storms. The sky turned suddenly gray and then a hot wind came screaming across the desert, churning up everything in its path. From inside the barracks the boy could not see the sun or the moon or even the next row of barracks on the other side of the gravel path. All he could see was dust. The wind rattled the windows and doors and the dust seeped like smoke through the cracks in the roof and at night he slept with a wet handkerchief over his mouth to keep out the smell. In the morning, when he woke, the wet handkerchief was dry and in his mouth there was the gritty taste of chalk.”


“When I walked outside, I saw a lot of white snow. I expected it to be cold, and it was. The snowman still was standing. I thought that maybe the snow would melt in the afternoon and I could stay outside longer since it might not be so cold. But I wouldn’t know for sure until the afternoon would come. In the meantime, I would go to school and stare out the window at the many winter sights wishing I could be rolling in the snow and throwing snowballs at friends. Maybe school will go quickly and the teacher will plan something fun for us all to do.”

Read the passage below and examine how the author used figurative language to develop images in your mind:


“On rocky islands gulls woke. Time to be about their business. Silently they floated in on the town, but when their icy eyes sighted the first dead fish, first bits of garbage about the ships and wharves, they began to scream and quarrel.

“The cocks in Boston back yards had long before cried the coming of the day. Now the hens were also awake, scratching, clucking, laying eggs.

“Cats in malt houses, granaries, ship holds, mansions and hovels caught a last mouse, settled down to wash their fur and sleep. Cats did not work by day.

“In stables horses shook their halters and whinnied. “In barns cows lowed to be milked. “Boston slowly opened its eyes, stretched, and woke.

The sun struck in horizontally from the east, flashing upon weathervanes – brass cocks and arrows, here a glass-eyed Indian, there a copper grasshopper – and the bells in the steeples cling-clanged, telling the people it was time to be up and about.”


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